National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Wild rice on the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin is in the floating leaf stage by early June, with a single shoot lying on the water’s surface. This is considered one of the most critical—and and dangerous—stages in the rice’s life cycle. The plants are just beginning to change physiologically from exchanging gases with the water column to exchanging gases with the air. Therefore, they are very susceptible to heavy rains and flooding events that can either rip out the young plants by the roots, or drown them. June 6, 2011.

For generations, the upper Great Lakes region has boasted harvests of wild rice, growing in Lake Superior and other watersheds within the basin. But disease, dams, and climate change are now endangering the uncultivated bounty.

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Montana Oil Spill Only a small fraction of the oil spilled from an ExxonMobil pipeline into the Yellowstone River in Montana is likely to be recovered, according to an Environmental Protection Agency staff member, speaking with the Associated Press. In the last year, several pipeline breaks have fouled waterways in the U.S, most notably the […]

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Pollution from the Mississippi The deluge comes quickly, but the effects linger. The spring flood on the Mississippi River will produce the largest-ever hypoxic dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a forecast from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Geological Survey and university scientists. The dead zone will cover a […]

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Healthy Forests, Healthy Waters The National Forest Service was created, in part, to safeguard the wooded areas supplying most of the nation’s drinking water. An ongoing rules review will put greater emphasis on watershed protection and restoration. On February 10, the NFS proposed a new forest planning rule, the agency’s first comprehensive rules revision since […]

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Hundreds have died in Colombian floods, as cooler sea temperatures affect regions around the Pacific; climate change seen as a possible cause.

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